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What are human rights?

What are human rights?

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that everyone should have. There are two main types of human rights – civil and political rights, and social, cultural and economic rights.

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International reporting

International reporting

Human rights were first expressed in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Countries who sign up to international human rights treaties must include the rights in their own laws.

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Office of Human Rights Proceedings

Office of Human Rights Proceedings

The Office of Human Rights Proceedings (OHRP) is an independent office within the Human Rights Commission that provides free legal representation to complainants to take selected discrimination cases to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

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— December 21, 2018

December Tūrangawaewae Newsletter

In this issue, we look at the human rights implications of the State Services Commission’s Inquiry into the Use of External Security Consultants, the pay gap for Pacific women in the public service, the need for transformational change in the education sector, the new Australian Modern Slavery Act, and more.

— December 21, 2018

Paula's Pānui - December 2018

This has been such a busy year and just like the end of a year, anniversaries also often prompt reflection. The 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December was a useful moment to look at what we have achieved in terms of human rights – and what more we need to do.

— December 20, 2018

Breach of human rights highlights need for right to privacy protections

The findings from State Services Commission’s Inquiry into the Use of External Security Consultants shows the need for stronger protections to safeguard human rights, especially privacy says Chief Legal Advisor Janet Anderson-Bidois.

— December 14, 2018

Pacific women paid lowest in New Zealand’s Public Service

A pay gap of 21% for Pacific women working in the public service is alarming and needs to be addressed urgently, says Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo.

— December 13, 2018

New Zealand needs to take a human-rights based approach

Acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero will highlight significant human rights issues in New Zealand with United Nations member states in Geneva this week.

— December 13, 2018

Grace Millane’s death reminds us of the violence so many women in New Zealand face

The shameful culture of violence against women in New Zealand must urgently change, writes Women’s Rights Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo.

— December 13, 2018

Rebekah Armstrong: What the Australian Modern Slavery Act will mean for big Kiwi businesses

Australia has a Modern Slavery Act. It comes into effect 1 January 2019 and places legal requirements on companies earning more than A$100 million ($104.7m) per annum to publicly report on modern slavery risks in their supply chains.

— December 10, 2018

Paula Tesoriero: Human rights declaration as relevant as ever at 70

Three New Zealanders helped bring about the land mark Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 70 years ago, writes Acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero.

— December 7, 2018

Transformational change needed to reform our Education system

The Human Rights Commission welcomes the release of the Tomorrows Schools Independent Taskforce: “Our schooling futures: Stronger Together’ Report.

— December 7, 2018

New accessibility work programme important step in breaking down barriers

The Human Rights Commission welcomes the announcement of a new government work programme focussing on accessibility.